In the aftermath of the pronouncement by the National Elections Commission of Liberia, declaring the Unity Party and former Vice President Joseph Boakai as the winners in the just-ended Liberian presidential election, a fierce scramble for genuine policies that will kick start the development drive of the incoming government. As Lyndon Ponnie, Sr, reports, the divisions between the conservative and liberal wings of the Unity Party have become pronounced, pitting key figures against each other.
On one side of the power struggle is former Auditor General John S. Morlu, who is the chief fundraiser of the victorious Unity Party of Joseph N. Boakai.
Morlu has been a vocal advocate for ending corruption in Liberia, particularly highlighting perceived corruption within the outgoing George Weah’s CDC government.
Morlu insists that a 100% audit of the Weah government must be conducted so as to give Liberians a clear picture of what has been done by the outgoing government and what was left behind, but it appears, this is not resonating with other key figures on the Boakai team; especially people who played key roles in the former UP government then headed by Nobel Laureate, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, such as Amara Konneh, former Minister of Finance.
Morlu’s strong stance against corruption reflects the growing sentiment among many Liberians who believe that tackling corruption is crucial for the country’s development and progress.
The calls for a comprehensive audit aims to hold accountable those who may have engaged in corrupt practices and ensure transparency and good governance, according to proponents of this school of thought.
Conversely, the former Finance Minister, Amara Konneh and cohorts appear to represent a different perspective within the Unity Party.
While specific details about the former Finance Minister’s stance are not clearly mentioned, except for a few facebook posts, which have been at odds with John Morlu, the anti-corruption comments.
Morlu and Konneh’s disagreement started when Konneh on his social media page called on Liberians to lower their expectations. But Morlu quickly hit back by writing on his on page that it was unfair for Liberian to lower their expectations. He said that President Elect Boakai had assured him that he was ready and up to the task to meet the expectations of Liberians.
The two men differences started from far back as of the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf administration.
Morlu was the Auditor Genera at the time and saw all of the corruption that allegedly took place and how some of his own colleagues masterminded his removal from the government because he was fighting sleaze in official circle.
Konneh, as minister of Finance under Johnson-Sirleaf reported three successes budget shortfalls and that Morlu was very critical of the Ellen officials under performance, Amara Konneh being one of them.
Several Liberians believed that had the GAC not been a tenure institution, President John-Sirleaf would have fired Morlu ever since. President Johnson-Sirlefeaf show her contempt for Morlu and therefore could not renew his a second term as auditor general.
Amara Konneh, who was an influential officials at the time, was said to be one of those who allegedly ensure Morlu did not get a contract renewal for Madam Johnson-Sirleaf, according to people closed to the power play.
Now, the two men are on the same side again, but with opposing position suggesting an ideological split within the incoming Unity party government on how to address corruption and manage the transition of power.
-As Liberia transitions from one administration to another, finding a balance between holding individuals accountable for potential corruption and fostering unity within the government will be crucial for the success of the Boakai presidency.
Amara Konneh is in the United States and on Saturday, he posted on his social media post with a photo of him riding in an Amtrak Train; with a text: “Heading home to Pennsylvania on the Amtrak Train after a productive week in cold Washington, DC working for country. A busy week ahead, next week-for Liberia’s President elect-Joseph Boakai in Washington, DC: State and Treasury Departments, the US Mission to the United nations, MCC IMF, World Bank, Corporate Council on Africa, and the US Institute of Peace including Congress and senior policy leaders-all successful lined up for informal discussions about a new strategic direction in Liberia-US partnership. Follow the official press releases and photos beginning Monday.”
Amara Konneh’s post seems to inform the Liberians and world what he was doing for the incoming government and the people of Liberia.
But in his own write out yesterday, the anti-corruption czar in an article titled: ‘Liberating Liberia: A Bold Call for Economic Independence.’
Morlu wrote that in the decisive era of 1945 multilateral institutions, today Liberia stands at a pivotal moment, and Joe Boakai faces a crucial decision that could shape the nation’s destiny. He said caution is paramount as he contemplates engagement with the familiar international players—the IMF, World Bank, UN, ADB, and the Corporate Council.
The concern resonates in the repetitive nature of their playbook, lacking the vital elements of competitiveness and innovation necessary to break free from the chains of poverty.
For many Africans, Morlu continued, the pursuit of Washington’s political corridors is deemed a political dividend, regardless of whether such endeavors benefit their people.
He added that Johnson-Sirleaf basked in the adoration of the West and Washington, yet poverty and exposed infrastructure loomed large in Liberia.
“While the workings of these institutions may elude most Americans and Western Europeans, Africans, especially Liberians, are acutely aware. Astonishingly, 90% of Americans and Western Europeans remain oblivious to the IMF, UN, or World Bank, in stark contrast to the heightened awareness among Africans.”
Morlu stated that President-Elect Joe Boakai’s involvement in their events is acknowledged, yet skepticism persists over their ability to drive substantial progress in poverty eradication.
The former GAC Boss states that Prosperous nations like Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE shun assistance from the IMF and World Bank, relying on their abundant resources; thus raised a poignant question: “Why does Liberia, with its rich endowment, consistently turn to these institutions?”
Morlu pointed out that in defiance of prevailing sentiments, Senator-Elect Amara Konneh expresses unabashed enthusiasm about engaging with the IMF and World Bank in Washington—a scenario all too familiar. However, he said a resolute path is urged for Joe Boakai, one that places paramount emphasis on a Business and Economic Forum designed to attract investments from successful black Americans in manufacturing, agriculture, technology, and Silicon Valley. The focus is clear—foster small-scale businesses and generate employment for all Liberians through free-market enterprise capitalism, he advised.
“Joe Boakai champions the free market system as Liberia’s key to prosperity, emphasizing private capital and domestic resource mobilization as primary drivers.”
Mr. Johnson Morlu added that multilateral institutions and donor agencies are relegated to supplementary funding sources. The initiative, “Liberians for Prosperity,” shouts commitment to market-driven solutions.
Amidst calls for alternative viewpoints on renewing the upcoming IMF program, Morlu says the narrative vehemently leans toward rejecting renewal. He notes that advocacy intensifies for a shift towards promoting domestic resource mobilization over dependency.
Drawing inspiration from historical figures like George Washington, Morlu states that the call is for an audacious path in constructing a new Liberia. “The ongoing battle revolves around influencing Joe Boakai’s choice between the donor-driven model and an unyielding commitment to an anti-corruption, private sector, and domestic resource approach.
“Some clamor for another donor conference, but Liberians are exhausted by such events. Since 2004, donor dependency has persisted as the sole policy prescription for Liberia, and it’s time to break free. The emphatic call is to shift focus, urging a laser focus on the private sector.”
He disclosed that despite expected challenges, progress is undeniable. The spotlight he continued, sharpens on crucial matters such as auditing the Weah government, anti-corruption endeavors, asset recovery, and business loan repayments, adding that a unanimous stand emerges among Liberians, with 92% acknowledging the urgency of shaping Liberia’s future.
“Envisioning Joe Boakai on Wall Street, visiting JP Morgan, and engaging with rating agencies like Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s, Fitch, and Silicon Valley becomes more than a vision—it becomes a demand. These pillars of American enterprise are not merely avenues for exploration but integral to forging strategic partnerships for Liberia’s economic growth.”
Morlu extended an unapologetic invitation to Konneh to join the movement advocating for a liberated Liberia, founded on freedom and opportunity, with Joe Boakai as the unyielding catalyst, pointing out that the message resonates with a personal commitment to justice and fairness, recognizing the relentless battle to shape Liberia’s future.
While acknowledging institutions like the IMF and World Bank, Morlu says the call is emphatic—Liberia must forge its own path after 176 years, expanding its economy through unwavering anti-corruption measures and vigorous domestic resource mobilization.
He said the only impediment to Liberia’s potential, preventing it from becoming a Kuwait, is corruption.
Investigators say millions of United States Dollars were siphoned under the nose of Amara Konneh when he was the minister of finance.
Monies were allegedly stolen from the consolidated account of the Liberian Government using fake companies created which were registered just to siphon millions of Liberian people monies. Checks and vouchers in the possession of Concord Times point to how officials criminals orchestrated the looting of the consolidated Account of the Liberian Government at the Central Bank. Now, some of these people are coming back in the fomrs of angels and want to confuse the new Boakai administration.
This power struggle within the incoming Joseph Boakai government underscores the challenges faced by any new administration in navigating the complex dynamics of governance, particularly within a political environment affected by past controversies.
Amara Konneh and his cohorts have been dodging speaking to the press on these burning excesses during his reign as Liberia’s Minister of Finance during the Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. He would not accept calls nor reply to messages placed on his Whatapps. Read details in our next edition. Source: concord Times